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Japan must honour its word on TW: Comment
Updated: 2005-05-02 10:35

In the five-point proposal on the development of Sino-Japanese ties, made by President Hu Jintao, China expressed the hope that Japan would translate into concrete actions its commitments to the one-China policy and pledge of not supporting "Taiwan Independence."

At a recent summit meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi in Jakarta, Hu put forward the proposal, whose third point stresses that the Taiwan question must be correctly handled as it is a prerequisite for pushing forward the Sino- Japanese ties.

The Taiwan issue is a question of China's sovereignty, territorial integrity and reunification, which concerns the core interests of China and the feelings of the Chinese people. Opposing "Taiwan independence" and working for China's reunification are the common aspiration of all the Chinese people including those on the Taiwan island.

It is widely recognized by the international community that there is only one China in the world, Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and the Taiwan issue is China's internal affair.

Proper handling of the Taiwan question is conducive to stability across the Taiwan Strait and peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, where Japan is situated.

In fact, Japan has made a number of commitments on the Taiwan question, which have made it possible for the two countries to normalize bilateral relations and achieve long-stride progress.

In the Sino-Japanese Joint Statement issued in 1972, Japan said it fully understands the three principles for the resumption of diplomatic ties, namely the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) is the sole legitimate government representing China, Taiwan is an inalienable part of the PRC and the treaties signed between Japan and the Kuomintang government are illegal and should be revoked.

In the Sino-Japanese Joint Declaration signed in 1998, Japan again pledged to observe the one-China principle and maintain only non-official contacts with Taiwan.

In addition, the Japanese government has repeatedly made verbal commitments concerning the Taiwan question. In 2001, the then Japanese Foreign Minister Makiko Tanaka said the country would stick to the one-China policy, not get involved in activities related to "two Chinas" or "one China, one Taiwan," and not support "Taiwan independence."

In November 2004, Koizumi reiterated that Japan pursues the one- China policy and does not back "Taiwan independence."

Regrettably, Japan has not fully carried out its promises on the Taiwan question. In 2003, despite strong objection from China, former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori visited Taiwan. At the end of last year, regardless of protests from China, Japan issued a visa to Lee Teng-hui, a radical representative of "Taiwan independence" forces, allowing him to visit the country as a " tourist."

In February 2005, the United States and Japan released a statement, listing the Taiwan question as a common strategic issue in the Asia-Pacific region.

These actions on the part of the Japanese government have hurt the feelings of the Chinese people and exerted a negative effect on the development of the ties between the two countries.

The Taiwan question is a major and sensitive issue in the Sino- Japanese relations. Honoring the commitments it has made is the key to Japan's proper handling of the issue.

Koizumi noted recently that the development of the friendly Sino-Japanese ties is of great importance to the development of both countries in the long run although differences and difficulties have emerged in the relations.

China hopes that Japan could take concrete actions and deliver its promise of adhering to the one-China policy and not supporting "Taiwan independence." Only by so doing, can the difficult situation of the Sino-Japanese relations be reversed and the bilateral ties develop healthily and steadily.

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